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Grandparent Custody

Information on Grandparent Custody

Grandparent custody is a very complicated issue in Alaska. The Family Law Self-Help Center provides a good starting point for this issue, though, if you plan to pursue custody as a grandparent, you are going to need to consult with an attorney.

As long as one or both parents are fit to parent the child and are acting as responsible parents, grandparents cannot interfere or demand any sort of custody. This is true even in a situation where one parent has died. Grandparents do not inherit their deceased child's custodial rights, even if they were named as guardians in the will.

However, in some situations a grandparent can ask a court for custody. If a grandparent has been acting as the primary caregiver of a child, that grandparent may be considered the child's "psychological parent," and so have standing to gain custody and/or visitation. If the parents have abandoned the child or are unfit to parent the child, the grandparent may have standing to gain custody and/or visitation. However, it is important to remember that a court will not interfere with the biological parents' rights as parents unless there is clear anc convincing evidence that it would be detrimental to the interests of the child not to do so.

Last Review and Update: Jan 12, 2005